Bingaman: A Tough Road for Cap-and-Trade This Year
This morning we ran a piece anticipating the difficulties facing Democratic leaders as they try to make good on their progressive campaign promises during a tough election year, when rallying the support of party moderates is certain to be a chore. And no bill will be tougher to pass in 2010 than that tackling climate change, which proposes adoption of a controversial cap-and-trade system designed to limit the nation’s greenhouse emissions.
Turns out Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is well aware of the troubles confronting that proposal this year, telling The Associated Press this week that Senate passage is unlikely in 2010.
Bingaman said the concern is that if Congress does not move forward on cap-and-trade legislation, emission reductions will be forced by federal regulators.
“That will also drive up utility rates,” he said. “The question is what will drive up utility rates the least, so that’s what we’re still trying to determine.”
And that was before Democratic Sens. Byron Dorgan (N.D.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.) shook up Washington yesterday with back-to-back announcements that neither would be back on Capitol Hill next year.